On Thursday night I was shown some extraordinary birthday love and treated to dinner and a VIP-pass to see Janelle Monae’s show at the Highline Ballroom. This was only my second time seeing the Wondaland phenom, and so I was revved up especially since I had already heard most of her upcoming album– The ArchAndroid, which I think is blazing like a Drew Barrymore double-crosser in Fire Starter. If Erykah is the ultimate conjurer, then Janelle is that inexplicable power– the magic, that transforms. One is conduit, the other electricity.
Janelle has performed several times at Highline and now it seems she has comfortably claimed it as her personal arena, podium and altar. She connected to MJ by doing the moonwalk and then donned a Black cape and transmitted the spirit of James Brown– fancy footwork and all. When she sang “Tight Rope” she Holy Ghost danced into our hearts and soul music’s grace. Cold War was unadulterated pentecostal testimony– solemn, revelatory, and convincing. Jane, a justice seeking Sagittarian, is a revivalist for the hiphop, rock-n-roll & neosoul downtrodden. Yes, yes y’all she was just that good! Check her out when she comes to your neck of the woods and buy her album! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Meanwhile if you have a minute, here’s her feature in this month’s Vogue.